By Howard Monroe

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Volunteers are stepping up to tackle Philly’s trash problem. Their efforts also come as the city is transitioning to banning plastic bags at businesses and restaurants.

“Everybody can benefit from a little cleanup,” Bloktoberfest Executive Director Ann Lastuvka said.

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It was Philadelphia’s turn on Sunday. A group of volunteers armed with shovels, trash bags and brooms headed out for a morning clean up.

Ann Lastuvka is the executive director of Bloktoberfest.

They organized the cleanup with the South of South Neighborhood Association and the South Street West Business Association, focusing on the commercial corridors on Washington Avenue and South Street.

Business owners were surveyed about what they need to be more successful.

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“Some of the feedback we got from the businesses were the corridors are a mess and it’s hard enough to try to scrape by with a business but then to also have all of this that makes the corridor less attractive,” Lastuvka said.

“I live on South Street and I see a lot of people drop trash on the ground and I try to pick it up just walking around,” one volunteer said. “So, it’s great to get out.”

They’ve been hosting these cleanups monthly since April. However, this is the first one since the city implemented its plastic bag ban and they say that should have a big impact on litter across the city.

The city estimates Philadelphians use 1 billion plastic bags every year. The single-use plastic bag ban went into effort on July 1, but it won’t be prohibited until October.

And in April 2022, businesses will begin to be fined up to $75 and repeat offenders could have a lien put on their business.

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“I’m very excited about the plastic bag ban, and I’m really hopeful to see how that will change the trash landscape moving forward,” Lastuvka said.